It can be hard to convince your company to hire an outside organization to plan an annual event. After all, isn’t that your title? Your job? Wouldn’t hiring externally set the tone that you can’t handle your position, or even worse expose you to being obsolete?
However, third party planners aren’t competition or after your job. Here are the top five reasons you should consider hiring a third party for your next event in Colorado or elsewhere.
An Entire Team of Planners
Hiring a planning company means you have access to an entire team of event planning professionals—people who eat, sleep and breathe events and have likely been doing so for many years. And they are the ones who have seen it all. By having a team, you now have a huge resource to whom you can delegate tasks, keep you organized, ask for insight and support you figuring out those head-scratcher moments. Even better, you having a robust, specialized team. Because events are so complex it is likely that professional event planners will have developed a particular area of expertise. Taken collectively, you may now have specialists on registration, event design, travel and logistics, VIP experience, and food and beverage all working on your event.
Dedication to Cost Savings & Avoidance
It can be tough to swallow a seemingly large line item on an already packed budget, especially one that at the outset seems superfluous. But most planners aren’t there just to charge you a management fee, round up all the elements and leave. Most are there to work with you to truly get the most value out of every dollar so you can maximize your budget and put on a stronger event. This is beneficial not only to keep you happy as their client, but it also gives them an opportunity to add better events to their portfolio.
But how could they possibly add enough value to cover their costs? They work closely with the A/V team to ensure that each piece of equipment is necessary, great quality and at a fair value. They work with hotels to discover concessions, negotiate better rates and confirm that the accuracy of the BEOs (banquet event orders). They partner with rental and décor companies to bring to life an impactful vision that is at or below market rate, not doused in markup fees. They touch every aspect of the event always aiming to be one-step ahead by anticipating areas to avoid incurring costs and find savings to keep the budget in check and you on track.
Contract Negotiation Experts
When you see and work with hundreds of contracts from venues and suppliers, you gain a deep understanding of industry standards, exceptions and non-negotiables. Having a third party who has run the gamut can be an immense resource ensuring you are protected and being treated fairly. Thorough and experienced contract review can help to ensure necessary clauses such as force majeure for instance are included, attrition and payment terms are reasonable, and concessions are received. Clean and comprehensive contracts make it easier for legal teams to review and approve and lend to an easier planning experience overall with fewer surprises and stressors along the way.
Access to a Partner Network
Third party planners often have vast networks of resources, suppliers and partners simply due to the volume of events they produce. Being a well-connected third party planner is a tangible asset as they are able to leverage their relationships and history with vendors to secure better deals, better product, and better service levels for any given project. Keep in mind that it’s not just your company that third party planners are hosting events for, they may have done several other programs this year within a certain hotel group or A/V provider and you will get to reap the benefits and discounts.
Ability to Focus on Your People, Content & Mission
Events are not thrown without reason, particularly in the corporate arena. Events are always aiming to achieve a larger goal. With a team to handle all the nitty-gritty details, logistics and management for an event, it frees you up to truly connect with event stakeholders, attendees, and the overall message and goal. This internal insight is not something that the third party planner has intimate access to, it’s something only in-house planners have. You are the translator between where you want to go and how you want to get there. It’s a special position that third party planners are happy to support because it leads to more meaningful programs, continued trust with clients, and ultimately greater events. And in the end, the spotlight shines on the in-house planner and the success of the event.
So the next time you have an event and want to get a planning partner on board, you don’t have to cringe at the thought of trying to justify the additional line item in the budget!
Victoria Rosenblatt, creative director for Denver-based Andavo Meetings & Incentives, focuses on the personality, vision and goals of her clients to create inspired designs and elevated guest experiences.